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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 15, April 15, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

The common market in Bangalore, India burnt last year, torching a third of the 480 shops. Reconstruction by the local government remains uncertain, especially regarding the market's critical reconnection to electricity. Yet the members of the Russell Market Vendor's Association have made a decision: the only thing not in short supply is the waste they all continually spew forth.  Of the 12 tonnes per day they create, over half is wet slop they can turn into power through anaerobic digestion for biogas to fuel engines. They also noted that it was particularly important to do something, quickly, about the fish waste...

In Thailand, one company intends to commission ten new plants this year, converting mostly chicken guts and wash water to make heat, power and fertilizer. In Nepal, the Big Event is the 2013 Waste to Energy Bazaar, tuning rural folk in to the wonders of local, waste-fed renewable heat and power. In Hawaii, they'll now convert the culls from the papaya harvest to fuel and animal feed, tonnage classically created and disposed because a "marketable papaya" must be far, far more than simply ripe and edible.

The point is that Humans are not going to stop making waste, certainly not any time soon. What we CAN do is stop wasting those same materials, once we are done using them.

A "circular economy" is a mash-up of common sense practice. The harvest is connected to the market, the market is connected to the dinner table, the dinner table is connected to the slop bucket, the slop is dumped into the digester … and the digester powers the market, while it's residual goes back out into the field. We're not just focused on the "biogenic fraction", that organic goop: now we need to think about that plastic waste, what becomes of the hard-to-make polymers, how we can pull the chemistry of waste apart and remake things we actually do need.

Since transport uses fuel and fuel costs money, the next trick is to spin that circular economy wheel as close to home as possible, what some call "localizing". Draw a ring around a city, oh, say one hundred miles from a centrally-located Waste to Products conversion complex. Step off fifty miles all around the center and set up transfer stations in a "hub and spoke" model that take care of the first stage of gathering and cleaning. Use 10 - 20% of the collected stuff to power the lights and fuel the fork-lifts at the remote hubs, and send the rest of the crud on down the hill. Head north a couple hundred miles and set up another network, and then find yet another site somewhere at least a hundred miles south of the first complex. There! You've just figured out how to absorb and convert all the waste within a six hundred mile swath, run it through a variety of conversion tools and turn it into raw materials. Gee, that wasn’t' so hard, now, was it?

Hey Rube!

A cheap and easy way to keep up to speed in this rapidly changing waste to energy world is to sign up for (and actually sit through) a select few of the myriad of free webinars available. The DOE has a constant series running; there has been a lot of recent focus on combined heat and power and on anaerobic digestion. It is worth knowing that when folks are tapped by the DOE to present on such topics, they are usually VERY well versed in the subject, and are also relatively open to follow-up conversations. Enjoy the webinars, but also think of them as a free federal vetting service, identifying accessible national specialists.

The Week's News

CAPCOA Releases Report on "California's Progress Toward Clean Air

The California Air Pollution Control Officer's Association (CAPCOA) has announced the release of its 2012 wrap-up report, "California's Progress Toward Clean Air." With thirty-five local air quality agencies scattered across California, this report provides a glimpse of activities, successes, and challenges in improving each region's air quality. 04/14/2013

Indiana Biomass Energy Working Group Hosts Session on Culver Duck Digester

The Indiana Biomass Energy Working Group has scheduled a day-long working session and site tour on April 23, 2013 focused on the $4 million anaerobic combined heat and power (CHP) installation at the Culver Duck poultry processing plant just outside of Middlebury. 04/14/2013

Bangalore Market Plans Anaerobic Digestion Plant for Waste to Energy

The Russell Market Vendors Association has reported that its 480 shop owner members have decided to cooperatively develop an anaerobic digestion system for conversion of the Bangalore market's organic wastes to power. 04/12/2013

DOE Webinar: Community Scale Anaerobic Digester Success Stories

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will present a free webinar addressing Community Scale Anaerobic Digesters on April 16, 2013, and featuring two presentations. 04/12/2013

IBI Publishes Biochar Standards Version 1.1, Plans Certification Program

The International Biochar Initiative (IBI) has announced publication of Version 1.1 of its Biochar Standards. 04/11/2013

2OC Secures £200MM Integrated Bioenergy CHiP Contract with Thames Water

Based in the United Kingdom (UK), the firm 2OC has announced signing a £200 million, 20 year contract to provide renewable heat and power to Thames Water, the UK's largest wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). 04/10/2013

ETI Short-lists 3 Gasification WtE Companies in £2.8MM Demo Competition

The United Kingdom (UK) based Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has announced selection of the top three proposals in a £2.8 million competition to design the most economical, efficient, and commercially viable gasification waste to energy demonstration pilot plant.. 04/10/2013

Waste2Tricity Enters Concept Design Phase for Plasma Waste to Energy Plant

The United Kingdom (UK) based Waste2Tricity (W2T) has announced the start of a concept design study for the development of a plasma gasification waste to energy plant. 04/10/2013

CPF to Start Up 10 Bioenergy/Biofuels Plants in 2013 for Energy from Waste

Thailand based Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL (CPF) is on schedule to start up six biogas plants, three cogeneration facilities, and a biodiesel production unit in 2013, having invested nearly 1 billion baht (about $34 million) according to the Bangkok Post News. 04/09/2013

State of Hawaii Awards $200K to BioTork - USDA Waste to Biofuel Project

Hawaii's Governor Neil Abercrombie's office has announced an award of $200,000 to the biofuels collaboration of the Florida-based company BioTork LLC and the USDA Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC) to help support the Hilo center's zero waste biofuel and high protein animal feed project. 04/09/2013

DOE Webinar on Texas CHP Siting, Permitting, Interconnection Requirements

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Gulf Coast Clean Energy Application Center (GC CEAC) has announced that registration is now open for an April 30, 2013 webinar addressing requirements for siting, permitting, and interconnecting combined heat and power (CHP) projects in Texas. 04/09/2013

Eco Sustainable Solutions Wins AD Output Award with Weltec Biopower Plant

German company Weltec Biopower has announced that their United Kingdom (UK) based client Eco Sustainable Solutions Ltd (Eco) received top recognition for "AD Output" during the REA Organics Recycling Awards held on March 21, 2013 in Oxfordshire. 04/09/2013

Biome Receives £150K Grant for Conversion of Lignin to Bioplastics

The United Kingdom (UK) based Biome Technologies subsidiary Biome Bioplastics Ltd has announced receipt of an award of £150,000 ($228,456) to commercialize a microbial pathway for conversion of lignin to bioplastics. 04/08/2013

Abengoa Launches MSW to BioFuels Demonstration Plant in Spain

International energy and fuels company Abengoa has announced the launch of its first large scale demonstration of biofuel production from municipal solid waste (MSW). The facility has a capacity to treat 25,000 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW), from which up to 1.5 million liters of bioethanol will be produced for use as fuel. 04/08/2013

The Week's Action Items

Due 04/19/2013: Project Concepts to Nepal Waste to Energy Bazaar

The Government of Nepal's Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) has announced a competitive solicitation for rural renewable and alternative energy development concepts, and launched Nepal Renewable Energy - Waste to Energy (W2E) Bazaar 2013 to promote rural renewable energy development. 04/08/2013

Due 05/31/2013: Grant Applications to CEC for Commercial Biofuels Facilities

The California Energy Commission's (CEC) Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) has released a Program Opportunity Notice (PON-13-601) seeking applications for grant funding for Commercial Scale Advanced Biofuels Production Facilities. 04/11/2013

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Featured Events:
8th Annual
CBA Symposium

Sacramento, California
18-19, 2013
Recommended Reading:

"Waste-to-Energy, Second Edition: Technologies
and Project Implementation" by Marc J Rogoff and Francois Screve

Municipal Solid Waste to Energy Conversion Processes: Economic, Technical, and Renewable Comparisons by Gary C Young

"Municipal Solid Waste to Energy Conversion Processes: Economic, Technical, and Renewable Comparisons" by Gary C Young


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Teru Talk is an online publication of JDMT, Inc with the goal of opening the dialogue and providing current news and commentary on issues and successes associated with waste conversion to renewable energy, biofuels and other bio-based products for resource recovery.

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The Teru Talk Newsletter is published weekly or more or less frequently, primarily depending on what is going on in the world of waste conversion or ours.